Boston: New England Aquarium
Start your visit to the New England Aquarium at the charming penguin colony, before experiencing 360-degree views of the spectacular new 4-story Caribbean coral reef teeming with more animals than ever before.
Take a stroll on the spiral walkway around the reef as sea turtles, sharks, moray eels, and tropical fish glide through their vibrant habitat. From sea jellies to sea dragons, you will explore the planet without leaving downtown Boston.
The Aquarium is a treasure trove ready for exploration by families and ocean lovers.
Your admission ticket includes entrance to the following exhibits:
Head to the Amazon rainforest without leaving Boston. The New England Aquarium’s 6 Amazon exhibits allow you to dive into the Amazon River and climb through the dense forest without getting wet or needing bug spray. Several of the exhibits feature large windows that reach nearly to the floor, providing perfect viewing opportunities for small children.
Atlantic Harbor Seals
The harbor seals exhibit is the only one you can actually visit before buying your Aquarium ticket. Watch the seals swim, play, and sleep, and learn more about them during a free training session. The 42,000-gallon harbor seal exhibit is located outside on the Front Plaza, to the left of the Aquarium’s front doors. The exhibit is open to the New England weather, which suits these New England creatures perfectly.
Blue Planet Action Center
This dynamic exhibit presents the serious challenges facing the oceans and showcases the Aquarium’s global leadership in searching for solutions, through its interactive displays, interpretive presentations, and small live animal exhibits.
Coral Reef Center
At the top of the Giant Ocean Tank, a glass railing maximizes your view of many of the predators swimming high in the water column. You can now easily recognize creatures resting on the tank’s bottom more than 24 feet below. That exceptional viewing is enhanced by a theatrical-quality lighting system that is built into a beautiful blue reflective ceiling dome. A new exhibit gallery on the same level showcases reef biodiversity and gives visitors a closer look at a hidden world populated by unique coral reef animals.
The Giant Ocean Tank
The 4-story Giant Ocean Tank features a brand new coral reef, an underwater communications system, large windows, and hundreds of Caribbean reef animals, including sea turtles, stingrays, eels, and fish. At its deepest point, the exhibit goes down 26 feet, is 40 feet wide, and holds 200,000 gallons of salt water. The water is heated to between 72 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the perfect temperature range for this tropical exhibit. The exhibit is so big that it was built first and then the rest of the Aquarium was constructed around it.
Gulf of Maine
The Gulf of Maine stretches from Cape Cod to Canada and includes Boston Harbor and the Stellwagen Bank. The water is cold but bursting with life. As you explore exhibits ranging from shore to deep-water boulder reefs and sandy sea floors, you will encounter lobsters, cod, goosefish, and giant sea stars. The 6 Gulf of Maine exhibits cover more than half of the Aquarium’s third level.
Pacific Community Reef
Dive into the tropical waters of a Pacific coral reef and get to know some of the rainbow-colored fish that call it home. This 5,100-gallon exhibit houses nearly 70 different kinds of tropical reef fish.
Marine Mammal Center
Watch California sea lions dart through the water and limber northern fur seals lope in this beautiful open-air exhibit space. Learn about the challenges marine mammals face in the wild, and get a new perspective on these fascinating marine mammals.
The Aquarium is home to more than 80 penguins who live in a bustling colony found on Level 1 surrounding the Giant Ocean Tank. The Aquarium breeds African penguins as part of a Species Survival Plan and promotes educational programs about penguins.
Every visit to the New England Aquarium should include a stop at the seadragon exhibit. There are only 2 seadragon species in the world, and this stunning exhibit displays both of them. The leafy seadragon and the weedy seadragon both use their exceptional camouflage to hide from hungry predators. Challenge yourself and see how many seadragons you can find during your visit.